April 30, 2017

Rabies Challenge Fund Confirms Rabies Duration of Immunity

In February 2017, Rabies Challenge Fund announced the results of its seven year duration of immunity tests for the commonly administered rabies vaccine. It's good news for dogs.

Canine studies funded by the Rabies Challenge Fund and performed in collaboration with the University of Georgia have confirmed that dogs that have a detectable rabies antibody titer are resistant to disease caused by experimental challenge with virulent rabies virus for as long as 7 years after two doses of rabies vaccine.
What this means is that annual "booster" shots are potentially damaging and possibly unnecessary.

How do you know?

According to the report, rabies antibody titer testing is available from several veterinary diagnostic labs in the U.S. For example, Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory offers this test for about $40.

The most scientifically sound approach to rabies re-vaccination in adult pets is to first determine antibody status and risk of infection and only then administer re-vaccination.

In our opinion, pet owners should proceed with cautious optimism. The acceptance of titer testing in lieu of re-vaccination is not necessarily accepted by every local animal control. But it's a step in the right direction.

 Read the full report here.

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